Telefónica and Liberty negotiate the purchase of the British operator TalkTalk

O2 Blank Mediathe “joint venture” between Telefónica and Virgin Media, negotiates purchase of TalkTalk, the British mobile operator TalkTalk. The offer would be around 3,600 million euros. The talks are still at an early stage. This transaction would involve another step in the consolidation of the sector after the two companies merged more than a year ago. British Telecom shares fell more than 8% on Friday after experiencing the move.

speak speakowned by private equity fund Toscafund Asset Management since its acquisition in 2020 for just under £2,000 million, spent months analyzing possible offers for a sale. Vodafone and Sky News made approaches with similar valuations to those who are now on the table: about 3,000 million pounds, or about 3,600 million euros in exchange.

The ace talksAs things progress Sky News this Friday, are in an initial phase and are carried out on a non-exclusive basis. There is no timetable forecast for the closure. This 3,000 million would include the debt. It would be the most relevant operation in the sector and would strengthen the Spanish-British joint venture in the fixed market.

TalkTalk is a fixed operator. In a market like the British, where convergence is not at the Spanish level, there are still large companies specializing in the provision of fixed or mobile connectivity. The operator for which Telefónica and its partner are now bidding has 4.2 million customers and 2.4 million fiber connections in the UK.

This purchase would allow it to further strengthen its plant in this market. It should be recalled that Virgin Media O2 was working this year 2022 on the creation of a fiber optic investment vehicle to try to accelerate deployments with the incorporation of an external partner. In this segment, British Telecom is the big dominator. This is why, this Friday, the shares of the former monopoly rose above 8%.

Market consolidation

The consolidation of the telecommunications market in the UK has intensified over the past two years following the outbreak of the pandemic. To the merger of Telefónica and Virgin, we must also add the talks revealed a few months ago by the newspaper FinancialTimes among oneself Vodafone with Hutchison (which operates in the country under the Three brand) to merge.

The Spanish operator agreed to merge with Virgin Mediain the hands of the American group Liberty, in 2020. One year later got the ‘green light’ from the UK competition regulator in what was a regulatory distinction, after the European Commission rejected the sale of the subsidiary to Hutchison in 2016. The union will generate synergies valued at more than 6,200 million pounds. The combined value of the group exceeds 38,000 million pounds.

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